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Iceberg That Sank The Titanic May Be Shown In Unearthed Photo From 1912

A rediscovered photo captured two days after the Titanic sank is going on auction this month. The photo, taken by undertaker John Snow Jr, may show the iceberg that sank the ship on its maiden voyage 112 years ago on April 14.

When the Titanic sank 640 kilometers (400 miles) off Newfoundland, Canada, over 1,500 of the passengers, of which there were over 2,200, died – many by drowning or immersion hypothermia. John Snow Jr was chief embalmer of funeral directors John Snow & Co and was summoned to the wreck of the Titanic to help collect some, but not all, of the bodies for burial.


The two – along with 100 coffins to place bodies in and 100 tonnes of ice to preserve those and other bodies – were aboard the Cable Ship Mackay-Bennett, the first of four chartered vessels to reach the Titanic to search for bodies. Assessing the scene, the crew quickly realized that there were a lot more bodies than they had expected, and a second boat would be necessary to help recover the deceased.

All in all, the crew of CS Mackay-Bennett recovered 306 bodies from the water. The class system in place onboard the Titanic was used to decide which would be taken back for burial, and who would get buried at sea.

“Decisions about which bodies to bury at sea were made largely according to the perceived economic class of the recovered victims, and those with third-class tickets were far more likely to be returned to the water,” assistant professor of urban sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam Jess Bier explained to JSTOR.


First-class passengers, including Isidor Straus, owner of Macy’s department store, were embalmed onboard the ship and placed in coffins, second-class passengers were embalmed and wrapped in canvas, and 116 third-class passengers and crew were left at sea.

Life insurance, a fairly new concept, likely dictated part of the decision. First-class passengers were more likely to have a policy that would pay for their burial or cremation, and insurance companies required an identifiable body before any payout could be made to relatives.

It’s not known when John Snow Jr took the photo, which can be viewed on the Henry Aldridge & Son Auctioneers website, during the voyage.

“Nobody can say for sure that this was THE iceberg that sank the Titanic. But what we can say is that after the rescue ship Carpathia, the Mackay-Bennett was one of the first ships to reach the wreck site and that the undertaker on board decided to take a photo of this iceberg,” Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge at Henry Aldridge & Son Auctioneers told The Mirror.


“He must have had his reasons for taking a photo of this iceberg. He captioned it Titanic and mounted it for posterity. It hasn’t been sold before and was acquired directly from Mr Snow’s family by our vendor in the early 1990s. It is an extremely rare photograph and we are sure it will attract a lot of interest.”

The photograph is being sold on April 27, and is expected to fetch around 4,000-7,000 GBP (5,000-8,700 USD).

Source Link: Iceberg That Sank The Titanic May Be Shown In Unearthed Photo From 1912

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